Benfits with Information Exchange

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Types of Information

There exists numbers of studies that have shed light on the types of information exchanged within partners in a supply chain (Liu & Sun, 2011; Croson & Donohue, 2006; Evrard-Samuel, 2008; Angulo, Nachtmann, & Waller, 2004; Waller, Johnson, & Davis, 1999; Ebrahim-Khanjari, Hopp, & Iravani, 2012). These studies mostly focus on one or several different types of information. Besides them, the studies of Lee and Whang (2000) and of Lotfi et al. (2013) provided an organized summary about the types of information. By combining these two basis studies with other complementary studies, the authors build this section of the theoretical framework (Table 1). It is important for supply chain members to share various types of information such as inventory, production, order, sales forecast and so on. This will further promote collaborative behaviours in the execution of inter-firm process activities such as market response, product design, and problem solving (Olorunniwo & Li, 2010). Since each type of information can be seen as ‘given’ and ‘received’ by retailers/suppliers at the same time from different angle. Thus, the authors would like to make clear that the ‘perspective’ in Table 1 presents the actor who gives this particular type of information, for example, customer’s perspective means given by customers.

Inventory information

Inventory information is one of the types of information that supply chain members like to share the most (Lee & Whang, 2000; Lotfi et al., 2013). For example, one of the most discussed systems for improving supply chain efficiency, the Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI) system needs the help of exchanging inventory information (Waller et al., 1999). The establishment of VMI system usually requires a partnership between supply chain members, in which the vendor makes replenishment decisions based on the customer’s specific inventory and the specific policies agreed on both members. Thus, it is clearly that in order to make replenishment decisions, suppliers need to be clear about both their own stocking point and the customer’s receiving point (Angulo et al., 2004).

Sales data

Sales data more refers to the data directly collected from the purchasing activity of downstream members’ customers, sometimes even including end customers’ gender or estimated ages (Koshijima, Saito, Ueda, Van Horne, & Whang, 2006). Lee and Whang (2000) argued that in a general customer-supplier interface, orders from downstream are always taken as demand information and further critical for upstream companies to make future decisions, however it cannot replace sales data. Firstly, orders are processed of various information and made by the downstream companies with their ideas or bias, it can no longer truly demonstrate the demand of the marketplace. Secondly, since the variance of orders tends to amplify when it moves upstream (Lee & Whang, 2000).

Sales forecast

In contrast to sales data, sales forecast refers to the data that shows future demand of the marketplace made or calculated by companies. Traditionally it is always considered that only retailers are responsible for making sales forecasting because they are closer to the market, however it is necessary to have a ‘collaborative forecasting’ in which different actors combine their forecasting efforts (Ebrahim-Khanjari et al., 2012). For example, when a manufacturer can make more accurate forecasting based on its comprehensive knowledge, it would be a pity for retailers if the manufacturer did not give this Theoretical Framework  information. Evrard-Samuel (2008) pointed out that under a situation where the manufacturers and retailers both hold their sales forecasting, manufacturers have to calculate forecasts ‘blindly’ and the retailers cannot improve their forecasting ability. Thus, the collaborative forecasting and replenishment (CFAR) can be a solution to this problem, which requires both customers and suppliers to exchange information and
develop forecasts together (Lee & Whang, 2000; Lotfi et al., 2013).

1 Introduction 
1.1 Background
1.2 Problem Discussion
1.3 Purpose and Research Questions
1.4 Scope and Delimitations
1.5 Outline
2 Theoretical Framework 
2.1 Introduction to Theoretical Framework
2.2 Types of Information
2.3 Benfits with Information Exchange
2.4 Challenges with Information Exchange
3 Research Methodology
3.1 Introduction to Research Methodology
3.2 Methodology
3.3 Research Design
3.4 Data Collection
3.5 Data Analysis
3.6 Trustworthiness
3.7 Research Ethics
4 Empricial Findings
4.1 Company A
4.2 Company B
4.3 Company C
4.4 Company D
4.5 Company E
5 Analysis
5.1 Types of Information
5.2 Benfits with Information Exchange
5.3 Challenges with Information Exchange
6 Conclusion
7 Discussion 
7.1 General Discussio
7.3 Limitations
7.4 Future Research
List of References


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